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Countdown to Shared Parental Leave

Posted by TonyBrownEmploymentSolicitor on February 20, 2015

The new system of shared parental leave (SPL) becomes available in just six weeks’ time and, if you haven’t already done so, you can use the remaining time to make any changes to your existing policies in readiness for the introduction of the new system.

The new regime is very complex but the key features for employers are: parental_leave_for_employment_Law.gif

  • SPL enables eligible mothers/adopters to convert up to 50 weeks' leave and 37 weeks' pay into SPL to be shared between both parents.
  • SPL must be taken in weekly blocks. It can be stopped and started, so periods of work can be interspersed with periods of leave.
  • SPL must be used in the first year following the child’s birth/placement
  • When a period of continuous leave is requested it cannot be refused. Discontinuous periods of leave are possible, but only where agreement is reached with the employer.
  • The notice requirements are prescriptive. In brief, the initial requirement is for the employee to notify their employer that s/he intends to take shared parental leave. This must then be followed by a further notice confirming full details of the request, including the amount of and pattern of the leave to be taken.
  • Pay is at a flat rate but employers are, of course, free to offer more generous enhanced pay if they wish.
  • Each parent will have up to 20 ‘keep in touch’ days while on SPL.
  • What should you be doing between now and 5 April to prepare for SPL?
  • Decide what your policy will be and whether you will pay enhanced shared parental pay.
  • Draft a new shared parental leave policy and template letters.
  • Update your existing maternity, paternity and adoption policies.
  • Communicate the new policies to staff and managers.

If you would like my assistance with developing an SPL policy, template letters and employee guidance on the new regime, please contact me on 01225 740097 or by e mail to

Warning - this bulletin is provided for information only and is not a substitute for legal advice. You should obtain specific, personal advice about your circumstances and not rely on the information or comments in this bulletin.